Health Insurance Basics

Recent figures released by the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed a startling figure: nearly 60 million Americans had no health insurance coverage at some time in 2010.

For many families who fall into that group the prospect of finding affordable health insurance can seem an uphill battle. Every family should always ask themselves not if they can afford to purchase health insurance but rather can they afford not to?

There are several policies you can look into when shopping for insurance. The first and most popular is the HMO or Health Maintenance Organization. An HMO is made relatively affordable by the fact that policyholders are constrained to seeing healthcare providers within their network.

The second policy type is a PPO or Preferred Provider Organization. The PPO is a bit pricier than an HMO but it allows virtually unfettered choice when it comes to doctors, specialists, and other healthcare providers. For many people, the extra cost of a PPO is well worth the added freedom-of-choice.

In addition to these policies, there is the Health Savings Account (HSA), which is a tax-deductible account from which people can pay for common healthcare expenses like deductibles, premiums, and prescription drugs.

In addition, anyone shopping for health insurance should know a few commonly used terms such as what co-insurance and co-payments are and the difference between premiums and deductibles.

Some policies might have also exclusions attached, which are procedures and treatments it doesn’t cover. For these, you may have to contribute to the expense out-of-pocket. For other procedures you may need to seek pre-authorization before you can proceed.

Knowing how health insurance policies work and the terms that define them is a vital first step in finding the kind of affordable health insurance you need to best protect you and your family from the soaring cost of healthcare.

Article provided by – visit for more on individual health insurance.

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